An idea with a savoury pie to stand in as an any time treat served with salad, as a delightful vegetarian meal or side dish with grilled or braaied meat or fish.
140 g / 250 ml cake flour
60 g / 70 ml butter or margarine
1 egg yolk
±15 ml ice-cold water Filling
125 g / 125 ml Ricotta cheese (see variations)
4 large eggs
1 egg white (yolk used for crust)
5 ml mustard powder
1 ml salt
pinch white pepper
1 spring onion, finely sliced
15 ml fresh parsley, finely chopped
125 ml fresh bread crumbs (about 1 slice)
125 ml milk
250 ml cream
500 ml coarsely grated baby marrow (4 large)
50 g/125 ml grated Cheddar cheese (see variations)
freshly ground black pepper
Place the flour, salt and butter or margarine into a mixing bowl and rub together until fine crumbs form.
Make a well in the centre and add the egg yolk and a few drops of water.
Mix with a fork, gradually adding a little extra water until the dough holds together. The dough should be soft but not too sticky. Knead the dough very lightly only until a smooth dough results.
Grease a 26–28 cm pie dish with margarine and press the pastry evenly into the dish.
Shape the edges neatly, pressing it down with the fingertips to thicken the pastry at the edge and refrigerate while the filling is being made.
Place the Ricotta cheese, whole eggs, egg white, mustard powder, salt and white pepper into a bowl and mash well with a fork to soften the cheese.
Add all remaining ingredients except black pepper and beat with a whisk until combined.
Pour the filling into the crust, sprinkle with black pepper to taste and bake at 180º C for about 35 to 40 minutes or until golden and set.
Serve warm from the oven or at room temperature.
Replace Ricotta with cottage cheese or 100g/125ml additional Cheddar cheese.
Cheddar cheese may be replaced by Tussers, Lichten Blanc or Edam.
For an onion pie, replace the baby marrow with 2 onions, sliced into rings or coarsely chopped and sautéed about 5 minutes in butter or margarine until limp.
If preferred add about 100g shredded smoked salmon or ham to the onion filling mixture as given in step 3.\
With autumn in full swing, this month’s selection of recipes includes a fish dish, a savoury pie, paella, hot and cold desserts and home-made dukkah. Be sure to have a look at my post on National Spanish Paella Day for more info about the origin of this popular one-pot dish.
Please contact me if you would like to order the Art Of Cooking Recipe Book. It is not available from leading book stores. For those of you who have the book already, the Art of Cooking and Koskuns Indexes are now available from Cooking Up A Storm. Please contact me for more information.
Paella takes its name from the typical wide, shallow saucepan used for this ever-popular Spanish rice dish with magnificent contrasting flavours, colours and textures. To simplify and save time, cook the ingredients simultaneously in two smaller saucepans and the large shallow paella-style pan. Read more about National Spanish Paella Day here.
To make paella successfully use rice that does not stick together such as parboiled or polished rice.
Saffron is the typically used flavouring and colouring agent but it is costly and may be replaced by turmeric.
Frozen or canned mussels and oysters are often used in paella. They may be used as is or crumbed and fried before placing on top of the paella.
150 ml sunflower or olive oil or half of each
2 large onions, coarsely chopped
2 – 3 cloves of garlic, crushed
2 large red tomatoes, peeled and diced
1 medium green pepper, seeded and cut into strips
250 g / 300 ml parboiled or polished rice
750 ml boiling water
7,5 ml chicken stock powder
1 ml saffron or 2,5 ml turmeric
200 ml white wine (semisweet or dry)
2,5 ml salt
± 300 g thickly sliced smoked or cooked ham
250 ml frozen peas
± 1 kg boneless skinless chicken breasts
125 ml cake flour or gluten or wheat-free flour
2,5 m salt
additional pinch of saffron or 1ml turmeric
1ml black pepper
± 1 kg combined seafood such as 350 g firm white fish, 350 g shelled and de-veined prawns
2,5 ml salt
few drops Tabasco sauce or a dash of cayenne pepper (optional)
To serve and garnish
± 200 g canned, shelled mussels or half shell mussels drained and rinsed or
frozen, shelled or half shell mussels, rinsed in boiling water and drained
black or Calamata olives
sprigs of fresh herbs
Select one large saucepan or paella–style pan and 2 smaller saucepans and place 50 ml of the oil into each.
Place the onions and garlic into the large saucepan and sauté gently, stirring form time to time until tender.
Add the tomato, green pepper and rice and stir-fry 5 minutes more.
Add the water, stock powder, saffron or turmeric, wine and salt and bring to the boil.
Lower the heat and boil gently until the liquid just covers the rice.
Cut the ham into strips and place with the peas and if used plain, the mussels and oysters as well, on top of the rice.
Cover and simmer gently until the rice is tender and dry and the ingredients on top cooked to taste.
Meanwhile, cut the chicken into 2 cm dices and toss in the combined flour, salt, saffron or turmeric and black pepper.
Heat the oil in the second saucepan and stir-fry the chicken until golden brown, crisp and cooked and set aside.
If frozen seafood is used, rinse in a colander to remove any ice particles and dry well. Cut the fish into 2 cm dices.
Heat the oil in the third saucepan and stir-fry the seafood and fish until cooked and lightly browned. Sprinkle with salt and Tabasco or cayenne pepper and set aside.
Place the cooked chicken and seafood, except the prawns in the shells onto the rie mixture when cooked and toss all together gently.
Serve from the paella-style pan or turn into a warm serving dish and garnish with the prawns in the shells and if used, crumbed oysters and mussels.
Sprinkle with parsley, place the olives on top and garnish with sprigs of herbs.
Serve hot with crusty bread and a mixed green salad.
See the Art Of Cooking Recipe Book for tips on storing, freezing and enlarging paella.
8 generous servings
Recipe by Carolié de Koster from the Art Of Cooking recipe book p. 445
Seafood (only) Paella
Omit the chicken and ham and increase the mixed seafood to aout 2 kg.
Omit the chicken, ham and seafood and add about 2 kg lightly cooked or roasted mixed vegetables to the basic rice.
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Serves: about 30 pikelets, depending on size
Pikelet batter 2 cups (500 ml) cake flour
1 Tbsp (15 ml) baking powder
½ tsp (2,5 ml) salt
1 Tbsp (15 ml) sugar
1 ½ cups (375 ml) milk
2 Tbsp (30 ml) melted butter
a little more milk or water if needed
butter or cooking spray to cook
Place the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar into a mixing bowl and make a well in the centre.
Beat together the milk and eggs and add to the flour gradually while beating with a whisk to form a smooth batter. Stir in the melted butter.
The batter should be of a consistency that will pour readily from a spoon. If necessary add a little more milk or water to achieve the optimal consistency.
Heat about 2 tsp (10 ml) butter in a heavy saucepan or electric frying pan over moderately high heat and spread over the base, or spray with cooking spray. Use a round soupspoon and place spoonfuls of batter into the pan.
Adjust the amount of batter used according to the size required. The batter should spread out to make thin neat pikelets. If it is still too firm, stir in a little water.
Cook the pikelets until bubbles appear on top and they are pale golden underneath. Turn over and cook until golden on the other side.
Adjust the heat as necessary to ensure that the pikelets do not brown too much or too soon.
Place the pikelets onto a plate and cover with a tea towel to keep them soft and moist. When cool, store in an airtight container or freeze for later use.
To serve, spread the toppings onto the pikelets and arrange onto a large platter. Garnish with greenery and salad ingredients as preferred.
1 cup (250 ml) Ricotta cheese
½ cup (125 ml) coarsely chopped smoked salmon or ham
1 Tbsp (15 ml) tomato sauce or topping (or a little more if preferred)
1 Tbsp (15 ml) mild or hot sweet chilli sauce
paprika and finely snipped chives or spring onion to flavour or garnish
Mix the ingredients together – the paprika and spring onion can either be used as garnish on top or mixed into the topping for flavour and colour.
A dip or topping filled with flavour and nourishment for high days and holidays! Serve on pikelets, crackers, toast or with vegetable sticks. OR serve as is typical in the southern American regions, spooned into a bowl and surrounded by fruit such as grapes, sliced pears, apples or bananas on cocktail sticks.
1 cup (250 ml) Ricotta cheese
½ cup (125 ml) slivered almonds or drained canned chickpeas
1/3 cup (75 ml) fruit chutney such as Mrs. Ball’s or peach or mango
2 tsp (10 ml) curry powder (mild or hot as preferred)
Preheat the oven to 160°C. Scatter the almonds or chickpeas onto a baking tray and bake 6 – 8 minutes until toasted to a light golden brown colour. Take great care not too brown them too much.
Place all the ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth. Use as a topping or once refrigerated the mixture will become firm enough to shape into a dome on a serving platter. Very elegant sprinkled with more flaked and toasted almonds and surrounded by the crackers and fruit.
An aromatically flavoured loaf to serve with soup, stews or cheese and salads.
Preparation time: 1 hour, including rising time
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Serves: 2 medium loaves or 20 slices
Note: This bread can also be made in a bread machine.
2 x 8 g sachets instant yeast
1 cup (250 ml) High grade flour
½ cup (125 ml) semolina
2 tsp (10 ml) aniseed
2 tsp (10 ml) salt
1 Tbsp (15 ml) sugar
1 cup (250 ml) milk
1 cup (250 ml) hot water
± 3 cups (750 ml) additional High grade flour
Place the yeast, first measure of flour, semolina, aniseed, salt, sugar, milk and water in a mixing bowl or the bowl of an electric mixer and mix to combine.
Add sufficient of the extra flour gradually to make a soft dough. Knead the dough in the electric mixer for about 8 minutes or turn out on a floured surface and knead very well by hand for about 10 minutes until smooth and very elastic. Return to the bowl, cover and allow to rise at room temperature or a very mildly warm spot until doubled.
Punch down the risen dough, divide in half and shape into oval-shaped loaves. Line a baking tray with baking paper or aluminium foil. Rolls the loaves into semolina to coat lightly and place onto the baking tray. Cut diagonal slashes into the top with a pair of kitchen scissors and allow to rise uncovered until doubled in size.
Preheat the oven to 200 ºC while the loaves are rising. Place the risen loaves into the oven and bake 10 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 170 ºC and bake 30 minutes more until the loaves are lightly browned and the crust crisp and sounds hollow when tapped. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
Prince William has picked Chocolate Biscuit Cake (also known as Chocolate Fridge Cake), a traditional British treat, as his Groom’s Cake. It will be served at the Royal Reception as a less formal alternative to the wedding cake. This easy, no-bake cake will become a favorite with adults and kids alike, so be prepared to make it often once you have introduced it to your family and friends! The cake needs to chill for at least 3 hours, so keep that it mind when making it! Enjoy!
Purchase 3 x 200 g slabs chocolate for the cake and glaze. If a smaller quantity is required, halve all the quantities.
Instead of making a round cake the mixture can be set in rectangular dishes and sliced into fingers or squares (almost like fudge).
1 x 200g packet shortbread or digestive biscuits or ½ of each
450 g good quality dark or milk eating or cooking chocolate, broken up
1 cup (250 ml) cream
2 Tbs (30 ml) honey or syrup
4 Tbsp (60 ml) butter
1 tsp (5 ml) vanilla essence
Glaze ¼ cup (60 ml) cream or milk
2 Tbsp (30 ml) butter
150 g chocolate, broken up
Line the base and sides of a 20 cm spring-form cake tin with baking paper. Stick the paper to the sides with tiny knobs of butter. Break up the biscuits by hand into small chunks and not too finely.
Place the chocolate and cream in a bowl and microwave on medium-low for 2 to 3 minutes until the chocolate has softened if tested with the tip of a teaspoon.
Add the honey, butter and vanilla essence and stir until combined.
Add the biscuits and mix well.
Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin or tins and smooth the top with the back of a spoon.
Refrigerate the cake in the round tin at least 3 hours or overnight. If made as slices or squares in rectangular containers it will set within an hour.
To make the glaze, combine all the ingredients in a jug suitable for the microwave and microwave on medium-low until the chocolate has softened if tested with the tip of a teaspoon and stir until smooth.
Pour and spread the glaze over the top and refrigerate the rectangular cakes.
Slide a knife around the inside of the tin and remove the rim.
Place the cake onto a rack to catch up drippings and pour the glaze evenly over the cake to cover the top and sides.
Refrigerate until quite firm and slice the round cake into thin wedges or the rectangular cakes into fingers. Store the cake in the refrigerator but remove a short while before serving to slice easily.
The components for this dessert are “fused” into breathtaking fantasies! Make it a day or two in advance and assemble shortly before serving.
Preparation time: 1 hour (can be done in advance!)
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Phyllo squares 4 sheets phyllo pastry (will make 64 small squares)
125 ml (1/2 cup / ± 100 g) melted butter
Poached meringue 3 cups (750 ml) milk
3 egg whites
pinch cream of tartar (optional to stabilise the meringue)
1/3 cup (75 ml) sugar
Custard 3 large egg yolks
2 whole large eggs
75 ml sugar
50 ml cornflour
75 ml milk
5 ml vanilla essence
1 ml almond essence (optional)
Caramel and nut syrup 30 ml oil
250 ml/100 g flaked almonds, toasted
125 ml sugar
75 ml water
15 ml honey or syrup
2,5 ml vanilla essence
To assemble and serve 125 – 250 ml cream, whipped
125 – 250 ml flaked almonds, toasted
Fold 4 sheets of phyllo pastry simultaneously in half lengthwise, press down lightly, unfold, cut through fold line with a sharp knife and stack the 8 wide strips. Fold in half and cut in the same way to obtain 16 strips. Stack all the strips.
Fold the strips simultaneously in half lengthwise, unfold, press down lightly and cut in half on the fold line. Stack the shorter strips and fold and cut once more in the same way to obtain 64 squares. Stack the squares, cover with a cloth or seal airtight and refrigerate if not baked soon after cutting.
Line two baking trays with foil or baking paper and brush with melted butter. Place as many squares as will fit onto the baking tray and brush lightly with butter. Cover each one with a second square, brush and add a third square. Continue until all the triple-layered squares are made (the best ones will be used for the recipe!)
Bake at 180ºC for 4 – 5 minutes or until pale golden (biscuit colour). Watch carefully to make sure that the squares do not brown too much for it will spoil the taste and appearance. Cool and set aside to use or pack carefully in an airtight container until required.
To make the poached meringue and custard filling, pour the milk into a large shallow saucepan and heat gently to just below boiling point.
Beat egg white and cream of tartar until firm and gradually beat in sugar to obtain a stiff meringue.
Dip an oval shaped tablespoon into the hot milk, scoop out neat rounded spoonfuls of the meringue and place into the hot milk.
Take care that the milk does not come to boil at any stage for the meringues will separate and curdle into the milk.
Poach the meringues about 2 minutes on a side or until each floating meringue sets and expands in the hot milk.
Turn over and poach gently for 2 minutes more. Lift out the poached meringues with a perforated spoon and place into a colander to drain. If the poached meringues are not used within a short time, place in an airtight container and refrigerate for a day or two. Return the drained milk to the saucepan with the milk to make the custard.
Beat together the egg yolks, whole eggs, sugar, cornflour, salt, 1/3 cup (75 ml) milk and flavouring and add a little of the hot milk to the mixture.
Return to the saucepan and bring to boil, stirring constantly. Turn down the heat and cook 2 – 3 minutes more or until thick and bubbly.
Pour into a bowl, cover with a cloth and cool until required or refrigerate for a day or two until ready to assemble.
Prepare the caramel and nut syrup. Place the oil and nuts into a saucepan and heat to moderately hot, stirring continually until the nuts turn pale golden.
Add the sugar and cook about 3 minutes, stirring until the sugar starts to melt and caramelise.
Remove from heat as soon as the caramel is golden brown and add the water. Stir until the sugar has dissolved and add the honey or syrup and flavouring.
Bring to boil, simmer 2-3 minutes to become syrupy and set aside until ready to use or seal and store for a day or two.
When ready to serve, place one triple layeredphyllo square onto each individual plate or place 10 of the baked squares onto a large serving platter. Divide the custard between the squares and spoon the poached meringue on top. Cover the filling with another baked double layer of fried phyllo and place a spoonful of cream on top. Drizzle caramel and nut syrup decoratively over each assembled fantasy!
Recipe by Carolié de Koster from the Art of Cooking Recipe book p. 795.
This is one of the best ways to prepare red/purple cabbage. It may be served soon after cooking but improves in flavour if cooked several days in advance. This dish is a great alternative to Sauerkraut. It is excellent with roast pork, veal, duck or venison.
2.5 ml salt or flavoured salt
2 liters Canola or peanut oil (for frying)
2 medium lemons, quartered
Combine the ingredients for the tartar sauce in a mixing bowl. Transfer to a serving dish, cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Cut the fish into even bite-sized portions and pat it dry with absorbent kitchen paper.
Pour oil to a depth of 5 cm in a large saucepan and heat to moderately hot.
Dust the pieces of fish with corn flour so that the batter can stick.
Combine the flours, salt and sufficient soda water to obtain a batter of medium consistency in a medium mixing bowl. Add the fish to the batter and stir to coat well.
To test if the oil is ready, drop a piece of bread into the oil – it should sizzle and brown in 60 seconds. Or measure the temperature of the oil with a digital cooking thermometer.
When the oil is ready, lift one portion of fish out of the batter at a time and allow the excess batter to drain. Slowly lower a few fish portions at a time into the oil and fry until golden and crisp. Do not overcrowd the pan.
Lift the fish from the oil with a metal slotted spoon and transfer it to a baking tray lined with double-layer sheets of absorbent kitchen paper to drain the excess oil.
Transfer to a warmed serving dish and keep warm while frying the rest of the fish. Serve immediately with the quartered fresh lemon.
Use up leftover batter by cutting vegetables such as onions and sweet pepper into rings or chunks. Fry in the same manner as the fish.
For crispy batter, substitute the milk or water in your recipe with ice-cold soda water or beer.
Add spices such as flavoured salt, chinese five spice, etc. to the batter to take the fish to a whole new level.
Dust the pieces of fish with corn flour before you add it to the batter to help the batter stick.
The temperature of the oil is crucial. If you don’t have a deep fryer, use a digital cooking thermometer to measure the temperature of the oil manually. The perfect frying temperature is 180 degrees Celsius. You can also test the temperature of the oil with a cube of bread. It should brown in 60 seconds.
If you are worried about the fish not being cooked all the way through, rather cut it into bite-sized pieces and fry until golden brown and crisp.
Serve deep-fried fish (or anything deep-fried for that matter) immediately for the best results or re-heat in the oven at 160 degrees Celsius.
One of my favourite things about this time of year is the abundance (and the price!) of oranges here in South Africa. In this month’s newsletter I am therefore including my favouite recipes with orange as a main ingredient to lift your spirits in this cold weather. My recipes for this month are: